Beauticate founder, Sigourney Cantelo, on finding balance & living the dream

Meet Sigourney, the founder and editor of Beauticate, a beauty-centric website dedicated to inspiring, educating and empowering women. As a former beauty editor at Vogue, and a journalist for over…

Meet Sigourney, the founder and editor of Beauticate, a beauty-centric website dedicated to inspiring, educating and empowering women. As a former beauty editor at Vogue, and a journalist for over 16 years, she is an esteemed pillar within the Australian beauty industry.

We sat down with Sigourney to chat about work, motherhood and of course, healthy living and balance.

Beauticate has been a pioneer in all things beauty and lifestyle. What initially sparked your desire to launch the site?

I’d been working as a beauty journalist for many years and at the time I couldn’t find a website locally that really excited me so decided to build one. I wanted it to feel like an escape, be a really good read and look beautiful visually, so I started interviewing inspiring people in their homes about what makes them feel beautiful. These became the WHO profiles. I also wanted to demystify beauty in a fun and interesting way so I created the other side of the side – the HOW TO section. It’s full of videos and instructional beauty and lifestyle content.

As an influential and empowering voice within your industry, what empowers you on a personal level?

I feel strongest when I have balance – eating well, meditating and exercising – but with two young children and a business it’s often hard to find that equilibrium. That’s when shortcuts like Soulara pre-prepped meals come in handy!

What does an average day in your life look like?

There is no average day! It’s always different but mornings are usually hectic being woken early by little people, feeding them, getting them off to daycare and school… If I’m lucky I’ll try and squeeze in a meditation sitting up in bed first thing. If I don’t do it then I usually won’t make the time. Then it’s off to a meeting or an event or I’ll chain myself to my desk and smash out about a hundred emails or a story for the site. Often I’ll be out in the afternoon again filming videos or meeting clients and then it’s getting the kids and dinner sorted. Sometimes I’ll try and do some work before bed but often fall in an exhausted heap on the couch.

What does living a healthy lifestyle mean to you?

Finding that elusive balance – when you’re feeling rested and energetic, nourished and fit. It’s so important and it makes a huge difference to my motivation for work and even what kind of parent I am. It’s eternally challenging though. But if I make time for myself – even in a small way – a walk to the park at lunch, or to do some stretches before bed – there’s a marked improvement in my wellbeing and mood.

What is your food philosophy?

I LOVE food. I’m usually thinking about my next meal! Although I do indulge pretty freely when I’m out (pizza, pasta and Mexican foods are my vices) to counterbalance it at home, I try to eat as many veg and superfoods as possible. It’s the 80/20 rule and it mostly works. Sometimes it edges more towards 70/30 or 60/40 but I will try and get back on the straight and narrow as soon as I can with some salad, veggie curries with mushroom powders and supplement-loaded smoothies.

Your style exudes classic glamour, how do you manage to look so chic while running an empire and being a hands-on Mum? What’s the one thing anybody can do to look effortlessly chic, no matter what you’re wearing?

Why thank you! Invest in classics that best suit your body type in quality, natural fabrics like linen, silk, cotton, and wool. If in doubt, add red lipstick! Instant glamour in twenty seconds.

Your advice to other mums wanting to achieve their dreams?

Just try it! Launch that business, reach out to that employer or contribute to that website. You’ll only regret the things you don’t do. Having a family shouldn’t stop you from achieving your dreams, remember that you can go at your own pace and cut yourself some slack when the kids are being demanding.

In a world where social platforms sell us “the dream”, what does ‘living the dream’ look like to you?

NOT posting on social media! Ha ha. The best weekends are when I set up my social media scheduler and I don’t look at my phone at all. The dream is having time with my family.

What inspires you on a daily basis?

Little moments – like walking Max to school and noticing something beautiful. We’ll talk about a new flower we haven’t seen, or some weird bug that crosses our path. Taking time to stop and actually look at things is so important and feels so good.

Your days look busy; what do you do to unwind?

I’ve done two meditation courses – my first was with Gary Gorrow and then more recently a refresher with The Broad Place. It’s a game changer and a skill you’ll call on for the rest of your life. I can’t recommend it enough for clarity, creativity, contentment and even helping get to sleep. Another thing – whenever we watch TV I put my yoga matt out and stretch and roll my back, shoulders and ITB out with a foam roller from Blackroll. It’s amazing – it’s like a self massage. Super painful but it really helps if you keep your tension in your shoulders.

The beauty industry gets hit fairly hard when it comes to accusations of skewing beauty standards and shaping young women – how has Beauticate challenged these ideals and empowered women in a positive way?

We try to feature a mix of women on the site, different shapes, sizes, ethnicities and ages. Women – and some men – with great stories and attitudes towards life. When we interview we try to look beneath the exterior – at what makes our subjects FEEL beautiful. Beauty is wholistic – it’s not just makeup or skincare. It’s diet, exercise, spirituality and how you view the world. It’s about how you present yourself to the world and how you feel about yourself. The most important element – of course – is confidence and confidence is formed by self perception: a delicate balance of all those vital elements of self.

If you weren’t doing this, what do you think you’d be doing career-wise?

Probably working with food somehow! I’d like to be a food writer or restaurant critic – what a dream!

What legacy would you like to leave on the world?

If I can somehow make even a few women feel more confident through some tip they’ve picked up on the site, or story they’ve read then I’ve done my job. I’d like to also raise my two children to be kind, resilient and self-assured. And happy – of course.

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Read about more incredible women who are making a difference here:

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Published: 07/03/19

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